The province of Saskatchewan has announced reforms to its Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP) that will focus on attracting and retaining the skilled workers that the province so desperately needs right now.
“When we went and did consultations last year on how to make the program and process more efficient, we heard loud and clear that the number one focus should be skilled workers,” says the province’s Immigration Services executive director Kirk Westgard. “We are trying to ensure that companies in the labour market get what they need in order to continue to grow.”
There will now be three separate categories for the SINP, each with tighter eligibility requirements in place – the Saskatchewan Experience Category, the International Skilled Worker Category, and the Entrepreneur and Farm Category.
The new International Skilled Worker Category, for instance, encompasses two previous streams – Skilled Workers and Family Referrals. Those who have employment offers and pre-employment ties, as well as those with relatives in the province, will be most likely to qualify through this category.
Many employers throughout the province have relied on the SINP in recent years as the economy booms, including Westcan Bulk Transport, one of the largest goods transporting companies in Western Canada. Westcan recruitment manager Chelsea Jukes says that the program allows them to hire the long-haul drivers they need in order to meet demand.
“The professional truck driver shortage is severe and very real, and this program ensures we can broaden our recruitment and hiring initiatives beyond borders and go after the quality that exists around the world,” says Juke, noting that the company requires foreign drivers to have at least three years of experience when hired.
Officials are also hoping to streamline the process by going electronic. Mailed applications for the SINP will no longer be accepted, and people will be able to check the status of their application online.
Source: Saskatoon Star-Pheonix